Triple digits

Seems like no matter where I turn, I end up in the land of the triple digits.

Evolution of the glyph – 3 number by Wikipedia.

I wrote about the three flames of love back in April.

I (almost) have three daughters.

Sydney, Molly, and Bridget at the Japanese gardens.

I have three dogs.

Salem first, Anna middle, Brownie last.

I have changed my last name three times. Married name #1. Married name #2. Back to maiden name #3. I actually don’t plan on changing it again. That means it stays at three.

My friend Luisa Doraz at Believe in yourself, represents my blog on her blog roll with a picture of three smiling daisies (I did not pick it out).

I adore them.

I am getting married on three tens….at three ten.

I can cook three things well; chicken with noodles in the steamer, mac and cheese casserole, and spaghetti.

There are three chores, I actually like doing; laundry, dishes, and cleaning.

Texas has more triple digits temps in the summer than Arizona (okay, maybe not, but it feels that way some years).

And finally, the month of July, which is not a three, but does remind me of three very special little boys who live in heaven.

My two nephews, and my friend, and photographer extraordinaire, Kellene, from Bella Lucia photography’s son Leo. They lived long enough to capture our hearts, and they died way to soon – leaving a wake of hearts in their ascension.

Kellene’s story of Leo is a moving one. It touched me to the core the first time I read her blog about him. Kellene is not just gifted in intimate portraits of life, but also in capturing intimate moments of life. Precious moments that live forever. I have those with my nephews and she has those with her son. I feel that is part of what connects us.

She is amazing, not only does she praise God for her day with him, but she continues to shine light and love to all who meet her. She illuminates life through her lens and her memories.

I wish I could describe what I feel for her, and what I felt for her immediately upon “blog meeting” her. I guess I just knew how special she was. And talented. And giving. And loving.

This is someone who deserves to be lifted up and praised, not just for her work, but for the sheer will and effort, she put forth to survive the death of her baby.

When she posted on her blog a remembrance memorial request in Leo’s honor, to celebrate his life. His one day. The day that changed her life forever. I was honored to accept, because it’s such a small thing for me to do, but a HUGE thing to her, and her family.

From Kellene’s blog , here is her request:

This month marks the one-year anniversary since our son Leo passed away after being born at 30 weeks due to a placental rupture. The past year has been a rough journey of both sorrow and faith. As we approach this season of remembering, many of you have asked what we were planning to do to remember Leo. After thinking long and hard, and asking other’s their ideas, I have come up with something everyone can participate in to celebrate his life!!

So, if you’d like to participate, here are the details…. I would like to start a Name Memorial for Leo. Find a creative way to write his name and capture it. You can write it in sand, in a letter, on an object, etc. You can incorporate anything you’d like… flowers, balloons, stuffed animals… be creative and have fun with it! The images will be featured on my blogs in a slideshow for everyone to enjoy.

Email your images to: kellene.maynard[at]gmail[dot]com Please be sure to include you name and where you are from with your submission!!!

Thank you ALL for participating in remembering our little man with us. Your love and support has brought us through the darkest time in our lives. We love you!!

If you read her story – Leo’s story. You will want to honor his beautiful life too.

Click here for her journal entry describing her day with him, Remembering Leo.


    Your walk of faith. Your strength. Your deep well of love is so precious to me. I can’t think of anything more endearing and heartfelt than sharing the celebration of his life with you.

    Love and joy to you always…

Readers, commenters, friends, and family would you join me? Would you join Kellene? Will you take a picture of his name and email it to her for his memorial? It would mean so much to us all, if you could share this time of poignant joy on his first birthday. I look forward to seeing your submissions on her upcoming slideshow.

I also look forward to meeting Kellene in person on my three tens – 10-10-10. She is my wedding photographer, coming all the way from Washington state. Funny thing……the town she lives in? The only town in Washington I have EVER visited. I visited a good friend, and former co-worker, who had a son the same age as Sydney, we were pregnant at the same time. She had moved before the baby was born and I flew out the first chance I got to meet him. Small world, huh?

And by the way……… today?

Marks three months until the wedding (at posting). Three!

Miracle Digest: The Sydney Story

Let me tell you about a miracle named Sydney Elizabeth. This tiny miracle occurred August 1993…………………………………

Ah! But not so fast. See I had to get married first. I married Sydney’s Dad October of 1992. I was 21 & he was 24 and he was my best friend in the whole world. Not to mention he made me laugh all the time(still does). Sonny couldn’t have been a better Dad for her.

We were very young but wanted to start a family right away. My older sister already had two children. My older brother had two children as well. It seemed natural to go ahead & try since we loved each other & wanted a child from that union. Our families supported us 100%. So finding out I was pregnant for the 1st time we were ecstatic!!! Best of all my sister was pregnant too!!! It was amazing! We were 8yrs apart & never imagined we would have children the same age. My due date was in September. A WHOLE SUMMER pregnant in Texas!!! Woo!! HA! But that was OK I was fine with that. I couldn’t WAIT to hold my angel in my arms. We had so many plans that formed in our heads so quickly. My sister & I lugging our babies around & having play dates. Sonny buying baseball gloves & bats to play ball with his boy. The FIRST grandchild his mother would have. The first GREAT grandchild for his grandmother. I can still remember every moment we planned. Every moment we anticipated with that little baby. Every second we dreamed of what it would look like, smell like, feel like. I can remember distinctly the glow inside of knowing I was going to have a BABY. My first baby! It was spectacular & unique & I would NEVER feel that way again. It wasn’t long before our dreams crashed down around us. This baby did not turn out how we hoped.

My pregnancy quickly went from the most wonderful time of my life to one of the worst nightmares of my life. I did not have a normal healthy pregnancy. I had a tubal pregnancy which means the baby travelled through the fallopian tubes to get to the uterus and got stuck (or stopped for whatever reason)and decided to grow there. It wasn’t in the right place & would quickly die from not getting the nourishment it needed. Worst than that it was not something that could be surgically moved & put in the right place. EVEN worse than that it put my life in great danger because the tube could burst & rupture inside and I could die too(tubal pregnancies are the #2 killer of pregnancy deaths). This was a very serious situation. The seriousness & the devastation seemed to battle inside me. I wanted NOT to die but I didn’t want to lose my baby either. And back and forth I would go between fearful & heartbroken. Fearful & heartbroken. Over & over until the doctor chose to do surgery & remove the pregnancy from my fallopian tube where it was lodged.
This meant I would go under anesthesia & be operated on. I would have a laproscope through my belly button & another incision by my bikini line. It was even possible that I would lose one of my fallopian tubes if he could not surgically remove the pregnancy without damaging it. If he had to he would remove the tube completely. So my fertility chances would drop in half and I was only 21yrs old.

I’ll not go into blow by blow here about the surgery & recovery. All I can say is that it was just as painful physically as it was emotionally. Me, my husband, my parents & siblings & his family GRIEVED for this loss. It was so devastating it seemed so unfair. I never thought I would stop crying over the loss of my baby. I truly felt like I was living in a never ending nightmare. They had saved my tube but the risk was even higher of having ANOTHER tubal on the next pregnancy. I never thought I could be brave enough to try again. All I could think of was I’ll hold my baby in heaven & that was the ONLY thing that got me through it.

Continue reading “Miracle Digest: The Sydney Story”

Baby Blessings Ya’ll

Ya’ll. I love that word. You can’t say it without having a drawl. And welp! We’re in Texas ya’ll! My boyfriends daughters were told this was a bad word, because the mom doesn’t like that word. You –all. Ya’ll. Seems perfectly logical to me!  Go to California they LOVE the southern twang & will ask you to say ya’ll a hundred times.

California is one of my favorite places. Nice people & no they don’t have an accent. I lost my twang a bit when I moved to the big city.  I pick it right back up when I go home or hang around people that talk with an accent which is what happened when my friend Ron came to visit.

Ron & his 3 little boys were visiting from Steele, MO. It’s a town near the Arkansas border & the Ozarks. Boy did those boys talk cute! I wanted to take them ALL home with me! (why yes I do steal other peoples children HA) They were so polite too Thaaaaaank Youuuuuuuuu they would drawl when the waitress would bring them another coke. I am actually a girl person. I have a girl, my boyfriend has girls and being around boys  I was a little worried,  but like with any kids they took to me like an old friend. I hugged,  his oldest Lee,  when I saw him for the 1st time and he had never met me before in my life! They surrounded me w/their cute drawls & we played with my camera & took pics of their dad. What a great dinner we had! My friend Deanna & her boy & her friend Joey were there too but the boys had all my attention. The littlest one told me he could drink a whole cup of hot salsa! And he could eat hot chips too! The middle one LOVED Hannah Montana! Too funny! And the oldest had just been in a bible quiz contest & his team won 2nd place in the State! Smart kids! I really meant it when I said they could spend a few weeks in the summer with me! LOL. I am no longer afraid of little boys. Bring it on! Bring me a dozen!!!(hope that doesn’t come back to bite me)

I have always been easygoing with children, anyone’s children friends, or relatives. Even the shyest of children will warm up to me with time. I think it’s inherited. My mom was a preschool teacher. My Great Aunt was a teacher. My mom’s mom was a teacher! It’s in the genes that children gravitate towards us & us to them. I work in the nursery at Church every other week. I am the class leader of the Puppies which are 18month olds. We & another leader typically have 6 children. Our job? To play with them. To love them. To show them joy & the love Jesus has for them.  It is my favorite thing in the world! The regulars get to know you & they reach their little arms up for hugs as soon as I walk in & say their name. I’m not sure who feels the love that we are showing them more me or them. Either way it’s a blessing to me. And it always seems God knows when I need a hug  because,  I end up on the floor w/3 of them around my neck.

I used to volunteer at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth. That was my before Church daycare fill up. I volunteered 3-4 hours once a week on Monday nights. My job there was to hold fussy or unheld babies. I didn’t have to feed them or burp them or change them or even check their tubes or medicine. Nope just HOLD them. I would snuggle them close to my chest & I would envision my heart pouring love into their broken bodies. I would envision that love enveloping their parents & caretakers. I would pray over them at that time

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26

One version says give you rest which they so badly needed. Especially the babies that were born addicted to drugs. It was so hard to settle them down & when they weren’t held just the right way or if they were laid in their bed unattended they would scream. Not just a baby crying I mean a piercing SCREECH that repeated over & over at full volume. It was awful. It was tragic. It was heartbreaking. So I would rock & pray & pour my heart into those little bodies. And I’d hope one day they’d be big & strong & whole.

It was such a thrill to see one heading home. I’d ask the nurse & she’d tell me yes they were going home & I’d be over the moon for them & their parents. Their parent’s faces would be just lit up. Some of them were not born w/a disease or ailment they were just born too early. I held babies 2,3lbs & held them as they grew until at 12lbs they were headed home (6mos later).6 MONTHS they had to wait for their baby to go home. 6 months they waited anxious & scared for it to grow big enough to survive. It was really such an awesome feeling to work there & give my time for that experience & that hospitals need. Sadly when I moved job locations my 4yrs of volunteering had to come to an end. My new shift & job location did not allow me enough time to make it there for my volunteer time. I know that is on hold for now but I will get back there someday.  It was definitely a God place. I will definitely revisit.

That’s all I got from here for now. Be blessed today Ya’ll!